Students and academics protesting the cuts

Further to my last, I wouldn’t want to give the impression that I’m against direct action.

Taking occupations on a case-by-case basis as you must, those ongoing in Sheffield (apparently supported by Paul White, Pro Vice Chancellor), UCL, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, Royal Holloway, SOAS, Manchester Metropolitan, and others too many to link, are necessary and important and I hope that their respective Vice Chancellors do join their Student Unions in a coalition against the cuts and represent themselves together to David Willetts and their MPs. It is so important to remember that as senior management you are advocates for your students and staff to government, not only advocates for government to your students and staff.

It’s positive that in some cases students are occupying alongside non-students, reflecting the wider public stake in universities. It would be good to see whole families turning up.

Hopefully the dissenting voices in Universities UK, such as Baroness Blackstone from the University of Greenwich and Robin Baker of Canterbury Christ Church will strengthen and broaden.

Updates:

Yes, we do need a plan. Higher Education Studies is a very small academic area in this country, despite the economic contribution HE makes. Consequently the number of knowledgeable and grounded people giving consideration to this is far surpassed by passionate ignorant people.

Faced as he is with the replacement of Higher Education Funding Council for England by thousands of student service consumers, it’s not surprising that Sir Alan Langlands, chief executive of HEFCE should say : “If you ask me on a personal level, am I comfortable living and working in a country that doesn’t put some public funding into arts and humanities, the answer is no.” But he’s right.

The impact of higher education institutions on regional economies – a 3-year study will soon report.

John Denham MP to Vince Cable: “It would be wrong to ask Parliament to vote to raise the fee cap until all the details of government policy have been determined and Parliament can vote on the whole package of measures”

I will go to my MP’s surgery for a ten-minute audience in advance of the vote. What should I suggest to him?

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